The Clockwork Dagger By Beth Cato

Jan 24, 2015 | 2015 Articles, Fantasy & Fangs, Terrance V. Mc Arthur

by Terrance Mc Arthur

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Clockwork Dagger, along with a link to purchase the book where a portion goes to help support KRL & supports indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy.

This is a review of The Clockwork Dagger by Hanford native/Arizona resident Beth Cato. It … oh, wait. I feel that there is a question in the audience. What, you ask, is a clockwork dagger? (Go ahead. Ask. It will make you feel better.) Is it a self-throwing weapon? No. It’s a member of an elite force that answers to the queen of the land in a steampunk reality with fantasy elements.

Octavia is an orphaned medician with phenomenal healing powers based on her knowledge of herbs and spells and her faith in the Lady and the Tree, as well as some innate power of her own. She travels by airship to a disease-ravaged town during a war of secession and revenge under the watchful eye of the vessel’s mysterious-and-gallant-and-handsome steward. Accompanying Octavia are a buxom dowager of uncertain past and a sleazy salesman of vitality drinks. Unsettling incidents keep happening along the way: sickness, attacks, and threats. Could someone want to harm Octavia, or are their purposes even more sinister than that?book

This series-opener is an intriguing mix of political thriller with steampunk machinery and lighter-than-air craft, along with science-fiction touches (a flying gremlin of artificial origins with a crush on the girl) and paranormal powers (can you hear if a person’s body is working correctly from across the room as if it was music? Octavia can!).

Do they want Octavia dead—or in their power? Who should be on the throne? Do the rebels have a point? Should Octavia trust a stranger just because he has saved her life? Is there anybody that she can really trust?

Cato has assembled an amazing world with unusual politics that include accusations of curses, varied scenery with unique features, and a healing system that takes a price on the healer, where Octavia’s powers need to be hidden or risk being overtaxed by the demands of the afflicted. The multicultural relationship between Octavia and Alonzo, the steward who might be more than he seems, grows steadily but chastely. The Clockwork Dagger is a brisk read, with a lot of issues to ponder.

To enter to win a copy of Clockwork Dagger, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Dagger,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 31, 2015. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address.

Check out more fantasy book reviews in our fantasy and fangs section.

Use this link to purchase this book & a portion goes to help support KRL & it supports an indie bookstore:

Terrance V. Mc Arthur is a Community Librarian for the WoW! (WithOut Walls) Division of the Fresno County Public Library, roaming the Valley to meet the public’s information needs.

Happy pondering!


  1. An intriguing combination. Thank you.

  2. interesting characters

  3. It sounds very interesting. I’ve never read anything in the “steam punk” genre but I’d like to~I might have to make notes to keep up with it. Thank you for the contest!

  4. Steampunk is a favorite genre. Have added to my TBR list just in case I am not a lucky winner.

  5. We have a winner
    Lorie Ham, KRL Publisher

  6. Sounds like an interesting read!



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